Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dogs And Divorce

Do you really like these people? Does a dog like its human? Yes. Does the dog respect its human? No, I don't think so. The human takes care of and feeds the dog. But the dog has to carefully watch, predict the human's behavior, to understand what the human wants. The human fails to do this with the dog. The relation of understanding is not complementary. From the dog's perspective, in comparison of understanding, his and his human's, he is the more intelligent. But he doesn't love his human any the less for it.
It is something to a human's advantage to be compared to a dog. Humans can't even accept a dog's love without talking about trades and tricks. Dogs are said to have learned to trick humans into believing they love them. But the truth is, humans more or less trick dogs, going on in their lives with dogs as if they, their masters, are worthy of love. They certainly are not! In fact, they do what they falsely accuse dogs of doing: making a trade, loving for being loved.

Clearly dogs love loving. Their trade of love for care is in the nature of an offer willingly made: no deception is involved. Their love is not bought. Dogs are loving, you take them in and take care of them so they continue to love, and in particular love you.

A dog does not wait for love to be loved, but his owner does. Think about that a moment. You come to love a dog because he loves you. You don't necessarily know how to love without first being put at ease by being loved. Your love is dependent on circumstances, so is not part of your character: it is not something you particularly know how to do. It is something that the dog particularly knows how to do.

Last year, after a silence of six months I heard from my wife. She sent me a Facebook message: she was in the hospital and afraid. When she felt better the next day, she said she had divorced me, would send me the papers if I liked. Then she disappeared from contact again. That was nine months ago.

But today I visited the marriage office of the sixth district in Budapest. They checked their records, computer and large bound registry of signatures, and said definitely I am still married. If my wife wins the lottery I get half, the official joked.

In this marriage, was I loving because I was loved? I'd like to think that my pleasure in discovering I was still married showed me in a good light.